Missouri Lieutenant Governor Michael Parson visited Boonville on Thursday, March 8 with stops at a Chamber of Commerce Luncheon held at the Isle of Capri and the senior living facility Ashley Manor.
The luncheon focused on the Lieutenant Governor’s “Buy Missouri” program, introduced by his office in October 2017. The purpose of the program is to find and promote products produced exclusively in Missouri.
“When I traveled, campaigning for the Lieutenant Governor's office, I realized there were many products made in Missouri I didn’t even know about,“ explained Parson on why the “Buy Missouri” program was established.
Parson’s presentation to Chamber members highlighted businesses including Burgers’ Smokehouse and Diamond Pet Foods, which exemplify the state’s unique offerings.
The “Buy Missouri” initiative consists of three phases. The first phase featured stops in the state’s major cities and concluded with the one Boonville. The second phase concentrates on the office of the Lieutenant Governor creating a categorized, online database of Missouri companies and businesses for the use of state consumers when attempting to buy locally.
“The just of what we are trying to do is promote Missouri business,“ summated Parson.
The second stage also allows businesses and products to utilize the “Buy Missouri” logo on labels to endorse the purchasing of Missouri-based products. The final phase of the initiative, according to Parson’s presentation “will consist of manufacturing and regional showcases across the state, giving local businesses the opportunity to promote their products efficiently and economically.” 
Hailing from a rural area, Parson frequently emphasized the importance of Missouri-based industries in rural areas such as Boonville. In the Lieutenant Governor’s opinion, the economic impact of employing a local workforce is paramount in building civic pride and effectively continuing the “Buy Missouri” program. Parson also explained that approximately 80 percent of job growth in the state is produced by existing businesses. 
The Boonville Chamber of Commerce presented the Lieutenant Governor with a collection if locally produced products, most of which are available at The Boonville Store on Mainstreet. Parson gratefully assured that all the items will be databased by his office as Missouri-produced products meritting the “Buy Missouri” logo on packaging.
“When you come to towns like Boonville, that’s the heart and soul of what Missouri is,“ concluded Parson concerning the importance of communities like Boonville in the “Buy Missouri” initiative, “We find businesses there and its critical that we be able to promote them.”
The Lieutenant Governor’s visit continued to Ashley Manor where he was greeted by more than 15 residents and facility Administrator Tina Johnson. Parson relayed his personal experience with his father’s affliction with Alzheimer's Disease and later life spent in a senior care facility. The visit concluded with a brief tour of Ashley Manor and Parson speaking with residents.
“A Lieutenant Governor, I feel it is my job to take care of the seniors of this state,” assured Parson concluding his remarks to residents.
According to the Lieutenant Governor, approximately one in every six Missouri citizens draw Medicaid or other financial medical assistance. Parson supported his position on redirecting the funding that was cut by the state last year back to senior care facilities. He also supported a choice for senior citizen veterans whether to live in the state Veterans Home or a local care facility closer to their family.
“He is very dedicated to Missouri seniors,“ said Johnson of Parson’s visit, “And to have him stop by and take the time with our seniors really is wonderful because he is on our page and on our path to get things like better reimbursements, better care and possibly better staffing for our buildings.”